Do you want your Instagram photos automatically, natively posted to onto your Facebook profile? Would you like to send your spouse an email/SMS notification every time you leave work and head home? Don’t you wish you could automatically save your tagged Facebook photos to your Dropbox? Or even automatically update your Android smartphone’s wallpaper to NASA’s Image of the day? Better yet, want to scare someone who stole your phone in Liam Neeson's voice? Well, you can do all that and much more using IFTTT.
If you are a netizen in the true sense of the word, you would have definitely heard of IFTTT by now, and made your own secret recipes. For the uninitiated, IFTTT is an internet productivity tool that can take you from zero to internet hero in no time at all!
If This Then That, or IFTTT, is a web-based service that lets users create a chain of conditional actions known as recipes. These actions are triggered automatically, depending on pre-set conditions decided by users. Sounds complicated? It really isn’t.
To understand IFTTT further, consider this simple example - ‘If This’: You receive an email with an attachment. ‘Then that’: The attachment will automatically be saved to your Google Drive.
Similarly, you can automate a bunch of internet related tasks by using IFTTT services. Going beyond apps, IFTTT can also be used to automate the functioning of your IoT devices. For example, you can automate your Philips Hue smart bulb to turn on at sunset everyday.
How to use IFTTT
Using IFTTT services is a walk in the park and you can become an IFTTT ninja in a span of minutes. Users can either create their own recipes or they can choose from a range of 400,000+ community recipes that already exist of the platform.
Step 1: To use IFTTT, you need to first register on the website and grant it permissions to use your email/Facebook/Instagram accounts, depending on the IFTTT service you setup. You only have to give permissions once before setting up a service.
Step 2: You can now browse through IFTTT’s recommended recipes or you can head to the ‘My Recipes’ section to create your own.
Creating your own recipe
Step 1: If you have a specific task in mind, you can create a recipe for the same in the ‘My Recipes’ section. On the ‘My Recipes’ page, click on ‘This’ to select your trigger service. For the sake of this example, I chose Facebook.
Step 2: After selecting Facebook as the trigger service, I needed to select the trigger activity. I selected ‘New Status Message By You’ as my trigger activity.
Step 3: After creating the Trigger, it’s time now to choose the ‘That’ part of the deal. I chose Twitter as my actionable service.
Step 4: I then had an option to choose from a bunch of ‘Actions’. These actions are what will be the final outcome of your IFTTT commands. I chose ‘Post a Tweet’ as the end action of my IFTTT activity. As a result, every time I post a status update on Facebook, the same would be sent out as a Tweet from my Twitter account.
Using the same method mentioned above, you can create innovative new recipes anytime you want to automate a certain internet-based task. The possibilities with IFTTT are endless and by using the service, you can literally put the internet to work for you. For certain IFTTT actions, you will be required to download one of the three ‘Do’ apps by IFTTT. While the Do Button app lets users create personalised buttons for automating tasks, the Do Camera app helps create personalised recipes for images clicked by your device, and the Do Note app helps write recipes for connecting your notepad to services like Evernote, Twitter, Google Calendar and more.
So, what recipes are cooking in your head right now? Let us know in the comments section below. If you have you been using IFTTT for a while now, we would love to know some of your secret recipes as well.
Lead Image Credit: gigaom.com